Donna Tryon and Ryan Sellers, appellants.
City of North Platte, Nebraska, ET AL., APPELLEES.
Motions to Dismiss: Appeal and Error. A
district court's grant of a motion to dismiss is reviewed
___. When reviewing an order dismissing a complaint, the
appellate court accepts as true all facts which are well pled
and the proper and reasonable inferences of law and fact
which may be drawn therefrom, but not the plaintiff's
Motions to Dismiss: Pleadings. To prevail
against a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a
plaintiff must allege sufficient facts, accepted as true, to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. In
cases in which a plaintiff does not or cannot allege specific
facts showing a necessary element, the factual allegations,
taken as true, are nonetheless plausible if they suggest the
existence of the element and raise a reasonable expectation
that discovery will reveal evidence of the element or claim.
Actions: Pleadings: Notice. Civil actions
are controlled by a liberal pleading regime; a party is only
required to set forth a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief and is
not required to plead legal theories or cite appropriate
statutes so long as the pleading gives fair notice of the
Actions: Pleadings. The rationale for a
liberal notice pleading standard in civil actions is that
when a party has a valid claim, he or she should recover on
it regardless of a failure to perceive the true basis of the
claim at the pleading stage.
___ .A plaintiff's allegations do not need to be set
forth as a separate claim in the complaint to sustain a cause
of action. 7. Motions to Dismiss. Even novel
issues may be determined on a motion to dismiss for failure
to state a claim where the dispute is not as to the
underlying facts but as to the interpretation of the law.
[295 Neb. 707]
Motions to Dismiss: Records. As a general rule,
important questions of novel impression should not be decided
on a motion to dismiss when the underlying facts are unclear
and development of the record will aid in resolving the legal
from the District Court for Lincoln County: Donald E.
Rowlands, Judge. Reversed and remanded for further
Spray and Ryan K. Mcintosh, of Mattson Ricketts Law Firm, for
appellants. Douglas L. Stack for appellee City of North
Pederson, of Pederson & Troshynski, for appellees Trent
Kleinow, Dr. James Smith, and Priority Medical Transport,
Heavican, C.J., Wright, Miller-Lerman, Stacy, Kelch, and
Tryon and Ryan Sellers (collectively appellants) appeal from
a district court order dismissing with prejudice their
amended complaint. Appellants seek to invalidate a contract
between the City of North Platte, Nebraska (North Platte),
and Priority Medical Transport, L.L.C, because North Platte
provided insufficient notice of its conflict of interest with
Priority Medical Transport before awarding the contract. We
conclude the court erred in dismissing appellants'
amended complaint, because it contains causes of action under
both Neb. Rev. Stat. § 84-1411 (Reissue 2014) of the
Open Meetings Act and Neb. Rev. Stat. § 49-14, 102 (Cum.
Supp. 2016) of the Nebraska Political Accountability and
Disclosure Act. Therefore, the court's order dismissing
appellants' amended complaint is reversed, and the cause
is remanded for further proceedings. [295 Neb. 708]
Medical Transport is an ambulance company owned, in
two-thirds part, by two employees of the North Platte Fire
Department: Trent Kleinow-the assistant fire chief-and Dr.
James Smith-the medical director. (Priority Medical
Transport. Kleinow, and Smith are hereinafter collectively
referred to as "Priority Medical.") In July 2015,
Priority Medical applied for a $500, 000 grant from the North
Platte Quality Growth Fund (Quality Growth Fund). The Quality
Growth Fund Citizens Review Committee (CRC) reviews Quality
Growth Fund applications and provides recommendations to the
North Platte City Council (City Council) on what Quality
Growth Fund applications should be approved.
met, ad hoc, to consider Priority Medical's application.
Despite that the application was for a $500, 000 grant, the
CRC provided a recommendation to the City Council to provide
Priority Medical a $350, 000 loan. Priority Medical did not
revise or refile its application with the Quality Growth Fund
to reflect the changes. At its July 2015 meeting, the City
Council awarded Priority Medical the $350, 000 loan contract.
filed a complaint in August 2015 alleging that both the CRC
and the City Council violated § 49-14, 102 by failing to
award the contract through an open and public process.
Appellants alleged that both the CRC and the City Council
provided "bare legal notice" of their meetings.
However, appellants specifically contended that neither body
provided notice that the contract to be discussed concerned a
business owned by public employees. Appellants' complaint
neither quoted nor attached the notices provided by the CRC
or the City Council.
court dismissed appellants' complaint without prejudice
for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be
granted, but allowed them leave to file an amended complaint.
The court specifically instructed appellants to make
paragraph 28 of their complaint more specific to allege how
§ 49-14, 102(2) was violated. [295 Neb. 709]
November 2015, appellants filed an amended complaint that
made substantive changes only to paragraph 28 and again did
not include the CRC or the City Council notices or their
language. In response, North Platte and Priority Medical
(hereinafter collectively appellees) both filed motions to
dismiss, under Neb. Ct. R. Pldg. § 6-1112(b)(6), for
failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
Appellees argued that appellants' admission that North
Platte provided "bare legal notice" of the City
Council meeting in paragraph 28 showed that North Platte
complied with § 49-14, 102's notice requirement for
an open and public process as a matter of law.
court dismissed the case with prejudice, explaining that
"Plaintiffs cannot amend their Complaint to state a
cause of action against any of the ...